The Altyn-Emel National Nature Park, located in the Ili valleys of Kazakhstan is around four times the size of Hong Kong. It has extraordinary landscapes and a whole lot of historical sites with beautiful flora that are a treat to your eyes. The park is one of the most accessible yet least explored pieces of the varied Kazakh wilds.
Spread over 4600 sq km, the Altyn-Emel national park is worth a visit if you miss the solitude life you once lived. The unusual but natural archaeological structures can leave you dumbstruck.
The Singing Dunes
If you know what an aircraft engine sounds like, you will easily be able to identify the humming of the Singing Dunes on a dry and windy yet suitable day in the park.
The highest among these dunes is the crescent-shaped and idiosyncratically beautiful Singing Barchan dune spread across 1.5 km and 120 m high.
The westerly winds blowing the sands, electrify the sand particles with the help of friction and creates these sonic vibrations illusioned as pipe organs played in the desert sands.
The Aktau And Katutau Hills
A striking white, red and ochre range of fossil bands, the Atkau mountain ranges are well known for their paleontological deposits that have grown over the remains of crocodiles, turtles and giant rhinos that existed 25-30 million years ago.
The bluish grey and brown sediments of the KatutauMountains are anatomized by sharp canyons and hot water springs. These mountains are also known to have trees that are purportedly claimed to be more than 700 years old.
The mountains have rich floral treasures that include 56 varieties of Early Miocene, in simpler terms, pine, spruce, birch, alder, oak, walnut, chestnut, linden, frame, pistachio and ailanthus.
Archaeologists have a lot to discover in the Altyn-Emel National Nature Park. The park has a beautiful petroglyph site- Terekty. Terekty has stone carvings stretched all over the area, most of them in the shape of an Ibex, Arkhar or a deer.
Apart from the stone cut structures, the park also has one of the biggest clusters of Scythian tombs across the globe- Besshatyr, a site of 31 ritual burial mounds. These mounds are of the warriors and leaders from the previous civilizations.
Flora And Fauna
- The park preserves around 69 rare and endangered plant species has a rich overgrowth of 1800 species of herbs, shrubs, grasses and trees.
- The tulips, tomyris and wormwood are some of the typical shrubs that will never fail to appease your eyes.
- Altyn-Emel National Nature Park is home to a least of 260 different animal species apart from the huge variety of insects and fishes.
- In the blue skies of the park fly endangered birds like the black stork and the imperial eagle. The grounds of the natural park are home to 78 species of mammals including the polecat, wild ass, gazelle, argali, Bukhara deer, lynx and Tian Shan brown bear, some of which are also mentioned in the Red Book of Kazakhstan.
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